By Nick Creely
Emerald banked arguably its most important win of the season to date against Gembrook Cockatoo on Saturday, 12.10 (82) to 8.12 (60).
The Bombers always held sway in the contest at Heatherbrae Recreation Reserve in Officer, leading by as much as 29 points at the final change.
It was a strong all-round team effort from the Bombers and the side at its best for the most part, with the likes of Mehdi Daoud, Ty Ellison, Pat Chin (four goals) and Jarrod Marshall all important cogs.
The win gives the Bombers – who now boast a 4-4 record – important breathing space inside the top six.
For the Brookers – who remain in fourth spot after their second loss – Michael Firrito slotted three, while Reece Piper, Aaron Firrito and Kyle Humphrey were named in the best.
Officer continued on with its electric form, recording a fifth straight win against a plucky Berwick Springs outfit, 15.11 (101) to 2.6 (18).
The Kangaroos travelled to Mick Morland Reserve for the first time, and were a class above from the outset, but the Titans – as they have shown throughout a promising first senior season – showed endeavour and moments of flashiness in the loss and were far from disgraced.
Rodney Benstead’s side will have taken plenty out of the contest against a side expected to be a firm challenger for the Division 1 premiership.
The Kangaroos are back to its best football – are getting important players back and firing, no more important than skipper Matthew Clarke – and are building to peak at the right time.
Clarke in particular is an important cog – he slotted three on the weekend – but the rangy forward at his best is a dynamic option up forward.
The likes of Casey Wassylko, James Cairns and Jake Ingaliso continued their impressive seasons, while Koop would be pleased with eight individual goal kickers, four of which were multiples.
For the Titans, Nick Rattle once again proved his worth and would be right up there in the club’s best and fairest.
At Don Road, Healesville was clinical in a 67-point win against Belgrave, 14.20 (104) to 5.7 (37).
The struggling Magpies were always behind the eight-ball after trailing by 24 at quarter time, and kept extending that margin throughout the afternoon.
Ruckman Will Kristelly-Kelety was particularly instrumental in the win, while Nick Mende and Cody Anderson were also strong contributors.
Seville inflicted Mt Evelyn with its second loss of the season, with the Blues holding on for a 20-point win at home, 13.7 (85) to 10.5 (65).
The Blues blew the game out of the water in the first quarter, playing some of their finest footy for the season to slam on seven goals to one.
As good sides do, the Rovers fought back but were always up against it with the home side always having the answers.
It’s a particularly important win for the Blues, who move to a 4-4 record.
Big man Deng Nai was electric for the home side, with Dom Aloi and Rob Petracca combining for seven goals to be the main attacking threats.
Monbulk had the bye.